Clinton urges Assad to transfer power, leave Syria
June 7, 2012 Leave a comment
By Ari Bildner, Staff Writer
Washington, June 7 – In her bluntest remarks yet on the violence in Syria, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for President Bashar Assad to step down and leave the country.
“Assad must transfer power and depart Syria,” Clinton said at a news conference Thursday in Istanbul after meeting foreign ministers from Arab and Western nations to discuss counterterrorism.
“The regime-sponsored violence that we witnessed again in Hama yesterday is simply unconscionable. Assad has doubled down on his brutality and his duplicity and Syria will not, cannot be peaceful, stable or certainly democratic until Assad goes.”
On Wednesday, at least 78 people were killed in the central Syrian village of Mazraat al-Qubeir, near the city of Hama in what anti-Assad activists were calling a massacre by Syrian troops and gunmen loyal to the president.
The United Nations reported that monitors were blocked by the government from reaching the site of the massacre on Thursday. The killings come a week after more than 100 people, many of them women and children, were killed in the town of Houla by regime forces.